UAMS Benefit Luncheon to Support Geriatric Nurse Training

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – Jo Ellen Ford and her brother, Randy Wilbourn, will be guest speakers at an April 26 luncheon to raise money for a University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) nursing program specializing in care for the elderly. The speakers will address issues related to caregiving for elderly parents.


The luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock. Tickets are $40 per person. For reservations, call Tracie Hill at 686-7987.


Ford and Wilbourn turned to UAMS for help in caring for their elderly parents. Ford is a member of the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging Community Advisory Board and the Arkansas Cancer Research Center Foundation Fund Board. She is a founding member of the ACRC Auxiliary and former chairman of the UAMS Foundation Fund Board. She is wife of Joe Ford, chairman of the Alltel Board of Directors and former president and CEO of Alltel. Wilbourn is senior vice president of corporate communications at Alltel and a past chairman of the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce.


Proceeds from the luncheon will provide eight-week geriatric nursing externships awarded by the Arkansas Hartford Center of Geriatric Nursing Excellence at UAMS.  These competitive geriatric nursing externships are offered during the summer between students’ junior and senior years. Students will work with nursing leaders, researchers and educators to learn about options in geriatric nursing. The students will work in the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging Senior Health Center, the UAMS College of Nursing, selected nursing homes and outpatient facilities. 


UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has about 2,430 students and 715 medical residents. It is one of the state’s largest public employers with about 9,400 employees, including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion a year. For more information, visit